If a Mad Dog Bites a Club - Chapter 4
Translator and Editor: nieye
“That is undecided.”
At the king’s words, Prince Ethan clenched his teeth. Prince Ethan has excellent worldly skills and strategies but is not as powerful as Princess Della. Therefore, if Adrian is banished, Prince Ethan must continue his fight for succession with Princess Della without his right arm.
Naturally, Count Reise protested.
“Your Majesty, Adrian Du’s promise to pardon the Illakain slave soldiers is a denial of our heavenly god, Apelard. But the culprit has also given us justice, so please, clarify the penalty of their sin.”
The king stared at Count Reise indifferently. Although the two were at Prince Ethan’s beck and call, the dissonance between Count Reise and Adrian Du was well-known in Acela Castle. So it was interesting to see Count Reise stand up for her like this.
But there was a problem. Count Reise’s point was not wise but more of a big mistake.
Adrian scratched her chin. The king initially took pleasure in using vague language, but he did not appreciate people picking apart his sentences. For more than twenty years, Barbate Du served as the king’s prime minister, and a big part of it was detecting the meaning behind his hazy words without questioning them. It was common sense for Adrian, the daughter of Barbate Du, who had lived for more than twenty years, but not for Count Reise.
So to speak, she was thankful, but she was not thankful for these matters.
“All right. Given how far Count Reise has gone, I shall provide Adrian Du with a path to exoneration.”
“What would be good… Yes.”
Oh, that sounds ominous.
Adrian squinted. As expected, the king, who looked uncomfortable, glanced at Adrian and said,
“In Yogyakarta, according to the people, there is something called the Golden City.”
“Track down the Golden City. If we find the city of gold, let alone the black water that can summon fire, it will be a great achievement that shall raise the glory of Acela and Apelard.”
This time, even Barbate Du furrowed his brows. The nobles surrounding the hall howled even louder. “A Golden City?” “That’s… Isn’t that a legend?” “This isn’t a treasure trove of fairy tales. There is no Golden City!” “His Majesty seems very angry.” “Oh my, she will end her life in Yogyakarta…”
Trying not to change her expression, Adrian thought,
‘Count Reise, I wouldn’t have paid for your lunch if I’d known you suck at your job.’
“Your Majesty, but…!”
“It’s as Count Reise said. The sin of denying the heavenly god Apelard is immense. If so, we should take action to prove that God Apelard is at work in that barbaric land of Yogyakarta. And I don’t doubt the discovery of the Golden City. “
“It is also clear that Adrian Du’s strength will support that history. Therefore, let Adrian Du strive for the complete subjugation of Yogyakarta and follow Apelard’s will to find the Golden City. If Adrian Du succeeds, I pledge the Du family the honor of succeeding as the Commander of Knights following exoneration. I give my word to uphold the royal honor.”
He likes royal honor.
No one believed that. Even the talking king couldn’t think this was royal honor. What is this talk of a Golden City?
If you do the impossible, I’ll reward you with a military position.
‘Are you joking me?’
Adrian seemed to understand the feelings of the rebels, whom she’d only read about in history books. But that doesn’t simply mean she can revolt.
‘This is just a permanent exile.’
What could she do in a hot country? Now, all hope of being able to return has vanished.
In her head, Adrian slowly tried to choose “100 Things To Do in Yogyakarta.” It was close to her escape from reality, but her escape was a direct failure. Because not a single thing crossed her mind.
Looking down at Adrian, the high lords pondered what soldiers the king would send her with. The 3rd Knights, whom Prince Ethan adored, were sent to the Battle of the White Rocky Plains alongside the slave soldiers. But he couldn’t possibly send the knights who have barely just returned…
“2 individuals will be dispatched.”
And the moment the king’s words fell, everyone doubted their ears. 2 people, not 200 or 2,000.
That number could not completely subjugate a kingdom, let alone a region, at that. That scale of a number is not even remotely a dispatch.
The first to shout was Prince Ethan.
The king treated him the same way he treated Princess Della.
“Ethan. I did not allow you to speak.”
“2 individuals?! This is basically exile…”
Prince Ethan stopped talking. Because he realized this was a true exile.
They’d struggle and die without proper authority in Yogyakarta, and even so, it wouldn’t matter much to the king if they did.
So who the hell is being dispatched with Adrian Du? A famous knight? Or a subordinate who can properly assist the regent? As everyone’s eyes wandered, the king went on to say,
“Adrian Du is permitted one soldier. Considering their contribution on the White Rocky Plains, I’d like her to pick among the Illakian slave soldiers in particular.”
This was nothing more but a mockery of her track record. In the White Rocky Plains, she was thriftily pestering the Illak people, so telling her to pick her favorite Illakian slave soldier was no different than throwing them aside.
Yogyakarta was a tough place. The Yogyakartans harbored an intense hatred for the Acelains due to their prolonged war with Acela’s people. Additionally, the religion of the celestial god Apelard said that the Yogyakartans deserved to be Acela’s servants. Therefore, she questioned whether she could be escorted by a regular trained soldier.
“Your Majesty! This is ridiculous!”
Prince Ethan shouted again, but Della, the first princess, stopped him with a smirk.
“Ethan, His Majesty has not allowed you to speak.”
The king also warned Prince Ethan.
“Ethan. If you utter one more word, I will banish you from this place. “
Prince Ethan gritted his teeth and stepped back. Adrian glanced at Prince Ethan and nodded, thankful that he came forward. Prince Ethan has a relatively weak political position, so he rarely protested against the king to this extent.
‘…Well, the prince would feel as if his right arm had been chopped off without me.’
Adrian stared at the king in a relaxed manner. Everyone in this hall, except for her, looked grim, but she had a companion so she wouldn’t be bored. She looked down to her side. Kneeling, Nihil peered up at her, then lowered his gaze again. His eyes told Adrian that he had no doubts about her choosing him.
Adrian somehow felt moved.
Nihil was initially the most disobedient slave soldier on the battlefield at first, but at the end of the Battle of the White Rock Plains, he became her most loyal hand. Plus, he was gifted in combat, so Adrian further trained him.
So when in the discussion of deploying only 2 people, it was natural that she turned to Nihil first.
But the king did not let the two of them have a heart-warming communion in a place where they were to confess their sins. With a cold expression, the king declared,
“And the one slave soldier who most actively participated in Adrian Du’s treasonous acts deserves execution, but considering he was swept away, he will be branded.”
Nihil’s disposition was still pending.
All the nobles were puzzled by the king’s words. Slaves branded their bodies by nature. Adding a new brand wouldn’t be a great punishment, would it? As if to answer the question, the king’s next words clarified.
“Brand the tongue of this slave who brandished a sword and dared to seek a change so that he who speaks may be aware of his identity until his last dying breath.”
Only then did all the nobles nod and admire the king’s order. People whispered here and there, saying this was a very generous punishment for a slave.
Adrian, of course, didn’t think so, so she lifted her eyes furiously and glared at everyone who agreed.
But it was of no use. The verdict was already over, and the king turned around and left. The nobles retreated in a rambling mess. Barbate Du went straight out after the king, and a giggling Kayley disappeared behind Princess Della’s stride.
Adrian and Nihil were the only ones left in the hall. The guard, who had been holding his breath nearby, came to release Adrian’s constraints and wavered. Adrian smiled and held out a hand. As soon as the guard quickly released Nihil’s restraints, she pulled him up.
“Nihil, I’m sorry. “
I couldn’t say it wouldn’t hurt. To think they’re going to brand his tongue. How could they do such a cruel thing? My heart ached as I patted Nihil’s cheek. The blue scaly marks on his cheeks sparkled, but Nihil shook his head.
As an Illakian, his expression always appeared indifferent, but Adrian’s heart ached knowing how that face could smile.
“I’ll see you soon.”
As soon as she said that, the guard stole Nihil away.
Oh, that guard. I oughta smack his head.
Adrian didn’t understand why the guard took Nihil so fast as if he were fleeing until she recalled threatening to rip apart the guy who didn’t scratch her head.
I can’t cut off a guard’s neck while inside the hall. Does it appear that I would?
Adrian sighed. Soon after, Sir Alffein and several soldiers approached. To take her back, remove her handcuffs and carry through with her procedures.
But then Prince Ethan approached.
“Sir Alffein, excuse me for a moment.”
“…I’ll give you a minute.”
Sir Alffein backed away. Adrian smiled and looked at Prince Ethan. Count Reise followed behind him, pinching his nose. She was the first to scold Count Reise.
“You pretended to be fine while you were up there defending me.”
“Would you hold your nose in front of His Majesty, then?”
“Count Reise, stop it.”
Prince Ethan stopped the two, as they usually bickered when bored. Count Riese, who was covering his nose, glanced at her, sighed, and removed his hand. He apologized in a low voice.
“I accept all apologies from Count Reise. The sun may rise in the west.”
Adrian smirked. Since Prince Ethan took her under his command, Count Reise has detested her. He always quarreled with her, even though they were the same age, but he was one of the few people in this castle to address her as “Sir Du.”
So, she knew he did it with good intentions. Adrian shook her head.
“No need to apologize.”
“If you’re sorry, bring me a handsome man.”
“…I’m not sorry!”
Adrian smiled mischievously. Prince Ethan called her name anxiously.
Adrian grinned before Prince Ethan could continue his words.
“Don’t worry, Your Highness. Haven’t I been to Yogyakarta before? I’ll be back before you know it.”
“You need to maintain your health until then. Don’t eat whatever you pick up off the ground.”
Count Reise clicked his tongue.
“Is that any way to talk to the prince?”
Adrian shrugged her shoulders.
“I still remember you picking up those poisoned snacks while I was away.”
“I’ve told you, again and again, I saw you eating them first.”
Prince Ethan responded with a smirk. Adrian countered immediately.
“And as I’ve told you, again and again, I have lived a life of wandering the streets, so it’s acceptable for me to eat anything I find on the ground and mix it with a little poison.”
“So I will be fine in Yogyakarta.”
She tried to dispel the prince’s worries but didn’t know if it worked. The prince, whom she had served since she was knighted, was a delicate man, not like the intrusive, outspoken Princess Della.
The prince focused on her, his thick eyebrows bunched together.
“…Just don’t eat whatever you pick up off the ground.”
“That’s what you’re going to say to your subordinate who’s traveling a long way?”
She reached out and tried to grab the prince’s hand but realized that her hands were dirty and wiped them against her clothes. But the prince shook his head and pulled on her hand.
“I’m dirty, Your Highness.”
“If this were considered ‘dirty,’ I would have kicked you when you were nineteen and indulged in grilling meat behind my palace while poking your teeth with branches.”
That was an old story. Adrian laughed, haha.